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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bunich Plan To Maintain Privatization

A leading lawmaker Monday criticized the Communist Party's platform on renationalization and said a more moderate bill he was drafting would place appropriate limits on state sell-offs.

"We are working on a draft nationalization law, but it is nothing like the Communists' version," said Pavel Bunich, head of the State Duma's property and privatization committee. "We will defend privatization in this law."

The Communists' economic program, released last week, calls for excessive state control over private enterprises and unrealistic renationalization of "illegally and unfairly" privatized companies, Bunich told a news conference.

Bunich, an independent deputy, is heading a Duma review of last year's much-criticized privatization program.

"We must correct what was done according to the wrong laws, abolishing them," he said. But in general he stuck up for the current government's program, saying only President Boris Yeltsin's administration could prevent privatization being rolled back.

Under a law Bunich is drafting -- which he said would be introduced in October -- the strategic defense sector and natural monopolies such as energy would remain in state hands, but companies that have already been sold off would not be renationalized.

"Overwhelming state control would choke private companies," Bunich said.

Communist suggestions to forbid privatizing mining, transport and communications enterprises are misguided, however, because such firms are usually not of strategic importance.


He suggested that Russian investment banks would be better placed to turn around companies privatized under the loans-for-shares scheme than commercial banks, which acquired stakes in government enterprises last year in return for loans.